SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Aaron Sherman of Tunkhannock has pleaded guilty to a sexual assault that happened in 2019.
According to court documents, a female victim was walking to work through a wooded trail along the Lackawanna River between West Elm Street and Broadway around 2:30 a.m. in September 2019 when she was approached by a man she did not know.
The victim told police that someone had grabbed her around the neck and hit her head. Her arms were taped together and she was dragged onto the walking trail where the man raped her.
The victim reported being forced into a pickup truck where the assailant, later identified as Sherman, told her he was looking for another girl. Police say Sherman told the victim that if she told police, he would kill her and she reported fearing for her life.
After driving around for hours and not being able to leave, the victim said Sherman pulled over and raped her again after taping up her arms and legs.
He then asked her where she wanted to be dropped off to which she said the Walmart in Pittston which is where he allowed her to leave. The victim was able to obtain a partial license plate in the parking lot which later helped police determine the assailant.
During the drive, Sherman asked the victim where she lived. The victim stated falsely that it was a rooming house and Sherman said that he had family which owned rooming houses in Scranton.
After reporting the assault to police in the hospital, investigators were able to identify a pickup truck owned by a Robert Sherman who also owns several rooming houses in the area. Through looking into his family, police were able to identify Aaron Sherman as the assailant.
During questioning, police say Sherman admitted to intending to rape a woman when he came across the victim. Officers say he told them that the victim was screaming for help but maintained that the sex was consensual.
Video recording of the assault was recovered from Sherman. Officers say the victim’s hands were tied so tightly that her fingers had turned blue.
Sherman has now pleaded guilty to felony rape, sexual assault and kidnapping. Sherman now faces up to 20 years for each charge.
Investigators also found Sherman in possession of child pornography. However, as part of a plea agreement those charges were withdrawn.
A sentencing date for Sherman has not yet been set.
It’s important to note, research from the CDC shows more than one in three women experience sexual violence.
If you are or someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence, contact your local emergency services.
You can also contact Victims Resource Center NEPA,
or Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape. Their toll free 24-hour hotline is 1-888-772-7227.